As an HR leader, chances are the AI conversation has not escaped you and you have been looking into what AI tools to integrate into your tech stack. Hundreds of AI-powered products claim to tackle the biggest HR challenges, from recruitment, onboarding, employee engagement, and performance management, to benefits and leave management and improving HR operations.
AI aims to streamline HR tasks and enable HR leaders to focus more on strategic initiatives. These solutions promise not only to automate repetitive tasks but also to enhance the overall employee experience. The core idea is simple: free up human professionals from mundane tasks, allowing them to focus on strategic, value-added activities. But is AI the game-changer it's touted to be, or just the latest shiny object in the ever-growing complex landscape of HR technology?
Five things to think about as you ready yourself for a future with AI in HR
The advantages of AI certainly are very promising, but a journey to leveraging the power of AI will require a readiness reality check. Here are a few things to start thinking about as you prepare for the inevitability of a future with AI:
1. What is Your Enterprise Perspective on AI?
Any significant technology implementation requires a collective enterprise approach. Too often we see that HR may have selected a technology with a laser focus on what it means for HR versus how it integrates across the enterprise technology ecosystem. If you haven’t already, start the enterprise conversation about AI now so that you are sure to be aligned and coordinated from the get-go.
2. How Complex are Your Legacy Systems?
The transition to AI is not going to be smooth sailing. Many organizations are tethered to dated HR systems, which were not built with the vision of AI integration. Merging these systems with modern AI tools will likely demand significant customization or even complete system replacements. Start thinking ahead about your HR technology landscape and where you have an opportunity to decommission or rationalize your systems thoughtfully over the coming years to take better advantage of AI capabilities in the future.
3. What Is the Current State of Your Data?
AI thrives on data. However, in many companies, crucial HR data remains in silos, dispersed across various departments, stored in different formats, and on distinct platforms. For AI to be most effective, the necessary data must not only be accessible but also unified. If you have data integrity issues, now is the time to nip them in the bud.
4. Do You Have the Scale?
The efficiency of AI systems is often proportional to the amount of data they can process. However, not all HR systems are equipped to manage the sheer volume of data that AI tools require, leading to scalability issues. Be careful about choosing where AI makes sense for your HR organization vs where it may just add complexity and expense, especially if you don’t have the volume or scale.
5. Are Your People Ready for AI?
Beyond the technicalities, there's a more human challenge. Employees, especially those who already resist using existing systems and worry about losing the “Human” in HR, or even losing their jobs might view AI integration with skepticism or even fear. Being very intentional about where you might leverage AI in HR and transparently communicating and educating your employees about the benefits is critical and the sooner you engage everyone in the conversation, the better.
As we all navigate this new world of AI in HR, we at Nua are on the front line talking with clients every day about how to best optimize their HR technology. We specialize in taking a holistic look at the intersection between technology, people, and process and bringing to the table our practical hands-on experience. Want to learn more? Reach out to us.